The recent boom in cloud technology and services has revolutionized multiple industries and enterprises in less than a decade. Different enterprises have started investing in switching wholly or partially to cloud services for their data storage or IT needs. With the current pace, more and more companies globally are keen to join the cloud revolution.
Seeing such a high demand for efficient and reliable cloud resources, big players in the tech industry have started providing dedicated cloud services. Famous tech companies Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, and Oracle, are all providing cutting-edge cloud functionalities. Their services have led to the development of exciting technologies like IoT and methodologies like DevOps. Another such popular technology used commonly on the cloud is containers.
This article will dive into the basic task to create a Docker container image on AWS. Specifically, it will discuss how to configure a Docker container and briefly discuss the platform and the popular partnership of containers and the cloud.
What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services is one of the world’s leading cloud service providers currently operating. It is the eCommerce giant Amazon’s internet and cloud service subsidiary. Started back in 2006, the company has grown to become a massive entity on its own. It provides services throughout the spectrum, from data storage to computational power and functionalities.
AWS offers data storage in all different levels, such as blob storage, data lakes, data warehousing, and traditional databases. Apart from storage, it also hosts data analytics and backup services. Almost all its services extensively use AWS’s robust cloud infrastructure built on hardware resources spread across multiple geographic locations. AWS is also famous for its hybrid cloud solutions that are getting increasingly common in many industries.
Apart from its services, AWS also operates a learning resource center and certifications for its different systems. Users can learn and become certified AWS cloud architects, developers, cloud practitioners, and business consultants. The training and certifications have fairly contributed to furthering Amazon’s hold in the cloud service market and popularizing it.
AWS’s platform supports development in almost all major languages and frameworks. Developers can use the platform for programming for native, web, or cloud environments. To support hassle-less development, users can also configure container technology on the platform and, for example, run Docker on AWS. Its cloud services are available in all major parts of the world and popular languages.
Docker For The Cloud
Container technology has been around for more than a decade now but has only recently gained momentum in the development industry. It aims to compartmentalize a machine’s resources for development environments more efficiently and effectively than virtual machines. Containers are lighter, faster, and easier to configure and deploy than virtual machines, leading to their increasing adoption by the global developer community.
Docker is the most popular container service used in the industry today. It uses its proprietary Docker Engine to run Docker images that are executable software packages. Docker images include all the tools necessary to develop and run an application, like code, system libraries, and configurations. The images are run on the Docker engine to make light, secure, and ultra-portable containers.
Due to its portability, and the development industry’s increased use of cloud resources and tools, developers have extensively used Docker containers on their cloud services. Docker and AWS even officially partnered up to efficiently integrate their tools so users can easily install Docker AWS functionalities. Bringing together two such robust technologies has significantly increased productivity and delivery time for applications.
Docker’s products are intended for all levels of use, from individual developers to large-scale enterprises that want to scale and grow. Many major tech companies have made Docker an essential partner in their journey towards adopting cloud approach and even offering cloud services, such as Dell, Arm, and IBM. Other associations of Docker include Azure, Ubuntu, and MuleSoft.
Creating a Docker Container Image on AWS
With Docker enjoying great success in the ongoing cloud revolution, all budding developers and cloud practitioners want to learn it. Everyone has to begin somewhere, and for most users, the path towards Docker mastery starts with successfully configuring a Docker container from an image on a cloud platform, such as AWS. The main workflow of how to start using Docker containers on AWS and begin your cloud development journey is discussed below.
For any container related business, we will be using Amazon’s Elastic Container Service to bring our Docker container to life.
Configuring Your Container
You will need to first set up a cluster with ECS and launch a simple web application. The startup wizard present in the ECS console will take you through this process.
Afterward, there is the option of using the Amazon Elastic Container Registry to create a repository to store your Docker image and push it when you run its wizard. (However, it is only available in selected areas.) If you do have it, check the Deploy a sample application onto an Amazon ECS Cluster and move ahead. (as shown below):
ECS makes it easy to create a Docker container by letting you specify a task definition, which helps it select the correct Docker image, how many containers to use, and the resource allocation for each. Specify the values and move ahead.
Next, you will have to configure the Amazon ECS service. It launches and maintains a backup of your task definition. It can maintain the number of copies of the application. Give it the Service Name and Desired Number of Tasks.
Additionally, you can configure a load balancer to balance the resources used for your tasks. It distributes the traffic load across the multiple container instances your tasks launch on. We specify the Container Name:host port and then choose to either use default values for the remaining parameters or choose special ones.
Next, you will need to configure your cluster. Enter the:
- Cluster name
- EC2 instance type: It specifies how much CPU and memory resources you are using.
- Number of Instances: Each instance can hold tasks, and more instances can handle more tasks.
- Key Pair: It is required for SSH protection for your instances.
You can also specify the level of access from the internet by selecting the Security Group. Click Review and Launch.
Deploying And Viewing Your AWS Container
Once we have everything configured, we review all settings. Afterward, follow the following the instructions:
- We select Launch service & run service.
- Once the launch is successfully complete, we select View Status.
- On the web application page, click on the Load Balancer name.
The application can be tested separately as well. Copy the ELB DNS name, put it into a new browser window, and run it. It should display a static webpage.
Bringing The Magic of Docker To AWS
The industry-wide acceptance of Docker has led to almost all major cloud services offering robust integration with it. The integration makes it easy to set up and start using a container on any cloud platform in a matter of minutes. Services like AWS and Azure have helpful wizards that guide users through the initial trouble of setting up a container. Once set up, the user can start developing the application quickly.
With Docker, and containers in general, getting so much support from the development industry, it is safe to say that tomorrow’s software won’t only be clever. The software will be made, deployed, fixed, and upgraded by developers much more quickly than now.